pauraque_bk: (Default)


Thinking critically -- which was Carl's field, after all -- yields the obvious point that this is emotionally manipulative. I happened to see this comment near the top which kinda says it all: "I actually felt like crying after it was over but I don't know why" (emphasis added). Well, because it's easy to elicit that reaction with music, dramatic shots of the sky, vague statements about the future of humanity... (When I watched The West Wing they'd try this trick nearly every episode, though much more clumsily! It's perhaps telling that one of the only times it worked was when Sam talked about space travel.)

I don't mean to be too cynical about it; I enjoyed the video. I mean, I'm not made of stone. But on one level it's about Carl Sagan, and on another it's about the powerful -- but very vague! -- sense of sublimity that you can induce in people if you phrase something poetically but omit any details. Musicians obviously trade on this all the time, and so do TV shows like Cosmos.

I liked Carl Sagan, and I don't doubt his sincerity or the sincerity of the person who made the video. I also don't want to come off as frowning on works of popular science, which are valuable in themselves (no one can be an expert on everything), and also lead a few people to investigate further. I guess I just like my sublime feelings to be based on something more substantial, not that you can't have your sublime-feelings "candy" too.

It's a bit weird that people are still so easy to manipulate, considering how accustomed we are to all these tricks, the swelling music, the dramatic voiceover, etc. What's, uh... what's up with that?

K, bed now.
pauraque_bk: (Default)


Thinking critically -- which was Carl's field, after all -- yields the obvious point that this is emotionally manipulative. I happened to see this comment near the top which kinda says it all: "I actually felt like crying after it was over but I don't know why" (emphasis added). Well, because it's easy to elicit that reaction with music, dramatic shots of the sky, vague statements about the future of humanity... (When I watched The West Wing they'd try this trick nearly every episode, though much more clumsily! It's perhaps telling that one of the only times it worked was when Sam talked about space travel.)

I don't mean to be too cynical about it; I enjoyed the video. I mean, I'm not made of stone. But on one level it's about Carl Sagan, and on another it's about the powerful -- but very vague! -- sense of sublimity that you can induce in people if you phrase something poetically but omit any details. Musicians obviously trade on this all the time, and so do TV shows like Cosmos.

I liked Carl Sagan, and I don't doubt his sincerity or the sincerity of the person who made the video. I also don't want to come off as frowning on works of popular science, which are valuable in themselves (no one can be an expert on everything), and also lead a few people to investigate further. I guess I just like my sublime feelings to be based on something more substantial, not that you can't have your sublime-feelings "candy" too.

It's a bit weird that people are still so easy to manipulate, considering how accustomed we are to all these tricks, the swelling music, the dramatic voiceover, etc. What's, uh... what's up with that?

K, bed now.

rachel!

Apr. 12th, 2009 01:23 pm
pauraque_bk: (Default)
This is for [livejournal.com profile] _hannelore, who didn't know who Rachel Maddow was. To make up for throwing her off the cliff, I thus inform people of her charm.



Hannelore always informs me of important things like how May Day is about fucking, so I try to keep her informed as well.

rachel!

Apr. 12th, 2009 01:23 pm
pauraque_bk: (Default)
This is for [livejournal.com profile] _hannelore, who didn't know who Rachel Maddow was. To make up for throwing her off the cliff, I thus inform people of her charm.



Hannelore always informs me of important things like how May Day is about fucking, so I try to keep her informed as well.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
After getting out of work, I have approximately two hours to interact with my girlfriend before she goes to bed. And my work hours are about to be extended. This utterly fails. /counting down days

+

At the supermarket, the guy behind me was loudly complaining to his friend that they should open another checkout and wasn't it horrible that they had to wait, and he would probably never come back. The line was like three people long. The checkout guy was obviously annoyed, but caved to the passive-aggressive douchebaggery and called for another checker.

I looked back at him and hissed "Asshole", and was immediately awash with fear that I was about to have my ass kicked (oh the perils of bein' a dude!), but Passive-Agressive Douchebag merely gave a vapid smirk.

+

So if a fandom develops around the show Kings, will the special hilarity of using the word "canon" in its usual fandom sense be recognized?

+

Upon further investigation, I have discovered that Twitter is kind of like those RPGs that used to exist (maybe still do?) where people portray all kinds of different celebrities, so you get like Jon Stewart randomly interacting with Patrick Stewart and John Kerry and Daniel Radcliffe and whoever else you can imagine, and it's all very amusing. Except Twitter is real.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
After getting out of work, I have approximately two hours to interact with my girlfriend before she goes to bed. And my work hours are about to be extended. This utterly fails. /counting down days

+

At the supermarket, the guy behind me was loudly complaining to his friend that they should open another checkout and wasn't it horrible that they had to wait, and he would probably never come back. The line was like three people long. The checkout guy was obviously annoyed, but caved to the passive-aggressive douchebaggery and called for another checker.

I looked back at him and hissed "Asshole", and was immediately awash with fear that I was about to have my ass kicked (oh the perils of bein' a dude!), but Passive-Agressive Douchebag merely gave a vapid smirk.

+

So if a fandom develops around the show Kings, will the special hilarity of using the word "canon" in its usual fandom sense be recognized?

+

Upon further investigation, I have discovered that Twitter is kind of like those RPGs that used to exist (maybe still do?) where people portray all kinds of different celebrities, so you get like Jon Stewart randomly interacting with Patrick Stewart and John Kerry and Daniel Radcliffe and whoever else you can imagine, and it's all very amusing. Except Twitter is real.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
Darkwing Duck pilot episode: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Why yes, I was born in the early 80s. Which made me the right age to appreciate the Disney Renaissance, or at least the first half of it. Of course I remember the movies, but the cartoons of the same era made more of a mark. My mom never limited my TV watching, so that's where I'd be after school every day.

You notice looking back how much they cheaped out on the animation (today this would probably all be CGI...), but the voice acting is still lovely to hear. I figured out very early that cartoons constantly reused the same voice actors, like good old Jim Cummings, whose voice you hear everywhere as soon as you become aware that he exists, and similarly Cam Clarke, who also does a lot of video game acting, including some prominent voices in WoW. I love these people. Cartoons don't work without awesome actors who commit to utter nonsense and make the ridiculous sublime.

What I hate about TV is not (usually) the shows, but the brain-deadening tendency to sit for hours and watch things you don't really give a crap about, or just change channels. Maybe if I hadn't been allowed to do that I would have grown up to... cure cancer. I dunno. Something.

On another note, do you think the unknown force that transported Rainbow Brite to the Colorless World is the same unknown force that compels Sam Beckett to change history for the better?
pauraque_bk: (Default)
Darkwing Duck pilot episode: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Why yes, I was born in the early 80s. Which made me the right age to appreciate the Disney Renaissance, or at least the first half of it. Of course I remember the movies, but the cartoons of the same era made more of a mark. My mom never limited my TV watching, so that's where I'd be after school every day.

You notice looking back how much they cheaped out on the animation (today this would probably all be CGI...), but the voice acting is still lovely to hear. I figured out very early that cartoons constantly reused the same voice actors, like good old Jim Cummings, whose voice you hear everywhere as soon as you become aware that he exists, and similarly Cam Clarke, who also does a lot of video game acting, including some prominent voices in WoW. I love these people. Cartoons don't work without awesome actors who commit to utter nonsense and make the ridiculous sublime.

What I hate about TV is not (usually) the shows, but the brain-deadening tendency to sit for hours and watch things you don't really give a crap about, or just change channels. Maybe if I hadn't been allowed to do that I would have grown up to... cure cancer. I dunno. Something.

On another note, do you think the unknown force that transported Rainbow Brite to the Colorless World is the same unknown force that compels Sam Beckett to change history for the better?
pauraque_bk: (Default)
Customer: Did you watch the debate last night?
me: No, I don't watch TV.
Customer: [distressed, as though I had said 'I don't care'] Oh!
me: Don't worry, I vote. Just not based on anything that's on TV.
Customer: Oh. Did you see that thing about undecided voters on the Colbert Report?
me: No...
Customer: Oh. You don't watch TV.
me: No.
Customer: My son doesn't watch TV either.
me: Good. It rots your brain.
Customer: Ha ha! *leaves quickly to get away from the scary man*

++

Today's polls

Final result 2004
pauraque_bk: (Default)
Customer: Did you watch the debate last night?
me: No, I don't watch TV.
Customer: [distressed, as though I had said 'I don't care'] Oh!
me: Don't worry, I vote. Just not based on anything that's on TV.
Customer: Oh. Did you see that thing about undecided voters on the Colbert Report?
me: No...
Customer: Oh. You don't watch TV.
me: No.
Customer: My son doesn't watch TV either.
me: Good. It rots your brain.
Customer: Ha ha! *leaves quickly to get away from the scary man*

++

Today's polls

Final result 2004
pauraque_bk: (bird field identification)
I've never liked the Olympics. )
pauraque_bk: (bird field identification)
I've never liked the Olympics. )
pauraque_bk: (Default)
so Mah Novel is in the form of the diary of one of the characters, which was mostly inspired by reading Pepys's Diary. Pepys wrote about everything in a largely unvarnished way -- the current entry as I write this is about his ongoing urinary tract issues -- and it's striking how often he goes out and does things and sees people. I frequently need to mine him for ideas of what people did after work, before electronic forms of entertainment.

i gave up watching tv quite some time ago )
pauraque_bk: (Default)
so Mah Novel is in the form of the diary of one of the characters, which was mostly inspired by reading Pepys's Diary. Pepys wrote about everything in a largely unvarnished way -- the current entry as I write this is about his ongoing urinary tract issues -- and it's striking how often he goes out and does things and sees people. I frequently need to mine him for ideas of what people did after work, before electronic forms of entertainment.

i gave up watching tv quite some time ago )

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